Category Archives: Steam Engine Simulator

Previewing the CK HOLLIDAY rebuild

Once every “few” years at the Disneyland Railroad, an engine goes off to a locomotive shop for a rebuild. The engine is taken apart, every component inspected, and either get refurbished or replaced new. With the sim being almost 6 years old now, I started to wonder if I could rebuild my own CK HOLLIDAY, using the current generation graphics engine.

Well, I did started the rebuild, and here’s a preview of it so far:

If you’re wondering what the real rebuild is like, I covered the last CK Holliday rebuild back from 2015-2016 here:

My rebuild is based on the the study model, using it as a template. It is so far all new, with new model and components made from scratch. Hopefully, we’ll cover this aspect of the build in more detail. For now, enjoy the video walk around!

Leave a Comment

Filed under CK Holliday build, Steam Engine Simulator

How to fire a steam locomotive – a video tutorial

Here it is! A basic overview of how to fire.

By “basic” I mean exactly that. There are more advanced ways and techniques to fire, also the engine is stationery which helps with learning the basics!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

New video tutorial!

This took five years to make! Finally, the video tutorial on how to start the steam locomotive from scratch is here

One of the main features in the sim is that you can boil water. This is because the thermodynamics simulation is correct (or at least plausible). In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to fire on air, make the switch over to steam, and all the little details to get the engine ready for the main line. The real timeline to complete all the tasks is about 2 hours, but a lot of it is waiting for the water to boil and making coffee in the break room.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

Two new videos

Today we have 2 new videos… in only 4 years! That’s a pretty good rate for contents, right?

First up, is a tour of the cab and all its controls. We only go into what they are, not quite on “how” to use them:

The next video is a bit longer. It’s my own review of… my own simulator. Here I talk and ramble on about what I think of the simulator, now that it’s over 5 years old I’ve had a bit of time to think about it. What I like, what I don’t. The first half of the video is a sort of half-donkey tutorial on getting the engine running:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

Disneyland Railroad Steam Simulator turns 5 years old!

Released in December 2017, the Steam Simulator officially turned 5 years old in December 2022.

A retrospective: computers and tech move fast, and a lot happened in 5 years. Apple released four iPhones since then, and game engines improved too. The Simulator was built on Unity 5, which was the latest at the time, and the Sim did look “mostly” photorealistic…for 2017. So, while I do think it looked good for its time, it is definitely showing its age when compared to the latest game engines.

Photorealistic cab of the EP Ripley

To celebrate its big milestone birthday, the Simulator is now available at only $19.

I do not have any updates planned for the Simulator at the moment, and porting the Sim into a new engine is only a daydream for now. This new price also reflects its legacy status.

CK Holliday at Frontierland Station, 1955
Steam Simulator’s recreation of the above photo

Maybe one day I will get back into rebuilding it “from the ground up” with the newest tech. But, at least now that it’s an older game, it should run pretty on most modern hardware!

It may be old, but where else can you fire and pull the original Disneyland Railroad engines, other than getting a job at the park?


Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

(no) update

I’ve been getting increasingly more requests for news on the sim, and that’s totally justifiable because the last news was over a year ago! The simple answer to why there’s been no news is because: there’s no news.

I haven’t worked on the sim since last year, and honestly, I don’t even have the development computer at the moment. The research of the historical Disneyland is daunting, as well as not having any free time, basically leaves the sim as is. I’ve looked into hiring outside help for modeling, but there really is no interests.

Sorry for the not so exciting news, but as it is, please do not expect anything new for the foreseeable future.

I’m glad to say though that I’m happy with the current state of the sim. The last update with the virtual fireman was the one feature I really wanted to have, and I’m happy it got released. I think the mechanics of the live steam operations as is are solid. Any future updates would be mostly cosmetic (like that map).

Meanwhile, I’m planning on one more video over the Christmas break just to revisit the sim, and talk trains. Stand by.


Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

Interactive fireman demo

We demo the new fireman feature, both the expert and the novice guys, by taking a quick trip between the roundhouse and Main Street Station. We also cover tips and tricks, such as when to order commands, and why you might want to use the override commands:


Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

Interactive fireman configuration

Enjoy listening to me ramble on about configuring the new interactive fireman!

In the next video, we’ll actually take a quick trip with the fireman and see how well we do!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

1.0.2a patch released

This is a non-mandatory update 1.0.2a to fix minor issues found in the 1.0.2 release:

  • Fixed conductor and cab bell not resetting
  • Fixed heat effect setting not being applied on ranch map
  • Moved animated people away from tracks on ranch map

The update is now available, and you can get the latest version by re-downloading the Simulator as always.


Filed under Steam Engine Simulator

Update 1.0.2 released!

The Simulator’s 1.0.2 update has been released! You can get it by re-downloading the program using the same link found in your original purchase email. For Windows, the installer will replace and update all the files necessary. For macOS, simply replace the old version with the new one.

Take a look at the release notes here for a list of updates and changes (there’s also been a couple of additions to the list since the original post).

Don’t forget that the manual has been updated as well to address the new features. From today, if you order the printed Sim manual, it will be based on this version.

Have fun running the engine with your new fireman! Remember to press the F4 key to activate the fireman menu.

James spent many Saturday mornings running the sim and helping me find bugs. Here he is at one year old running the Holliday
…and here he is at almost three years old

This project started even before he was born, and here he is still pulling on the whistle on the weekends. It’s been quite a journey!


Filed under Steam Engine Simulator